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Assisted reproduction and parental rights

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2021 | Fertility Assistance, Surrogacy Law |

Families are created in several different ways. If you’re considering egg or sperm donation to have a child and are a California resident, there are several legal factors to consider. This information will help ensure that your surrogacy and donation agreements are intact before your child is born.

Parental rights

According to the laws pertaining to surrogacy and donation agreements, if a woman conceives a child using assisted reproduction methods (i.e. egg donation, sperm donation, or both) by a donor that is not her spouse but with the consent of the other intended parent, the intended parent is legally treated as the child’s natural parent. The intended parent must confirm this agreement in writing.

Failure to provide written consent does not prevent the courts from concluding that the intended parent has consented to raise the unborn child. If the woman and the intended parent entered a verbal agreement before the child’s birth, this will be considered in court.

Donations for reproduction

Surrogacy and donation agreements indicate that a sperm donor is required to give the donation to a licensed surgeon or physician or a licensed sperm bank. The donor is not treated as the natural parent if a child is conceived from the donation unless a written agreement is in place between the donor and the woman before the child’s conception.

Egg donors are not treated as the natural parent of the child unless the court finds reason to believe that the egg donor would assume parental responsibility for the child based on the testimony of the woman receiving the egg. Speak with an experienced family law attorney to understand your rights in the assisted reproduction process and to protect the rights of your unborn child.